Mar 7th - 7:30 pm
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we sat down with leadership from the Republican and Democratic parties to get their take on Tuesday night.
Gov. Rick Perry got the crowd fired up at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington Friday. We talked about his chances in a 2016 presidential race with Robert Garrett of The Dallas Morning News, Jonathan Tilove of the Austin American-Statesman and the Texas Tribune’s Reeve Hamilton.
Did Democratic nominee for county judge Sarah Eckhart turn down her raises as a commissioner? Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas put a recent claim on the matter to the test.
Feb 24th - 7:52 pm
A recent poll is shedding new light on the 2014 elections. Attorney General Greg Abbott led Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis by eleven points in a new UT Austin/Texas Tribune poll. However, timing likely distorted that margin, as the poll was conducted after Sen. Davis’ biography was called into question and before Abbott campaigned with the controversial Ted Nugent.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we dug deeper into the poll numbers and took a closer look at the 2016 presidential race, which could include Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry on the Republican side.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project, provided perspective on how various factors impacted the poll numbers of the GOP primary races and the governor’s race.
Harvey Kronberg gave his analysis of how the latest fundraising totals will influence the nearing GOP primary races and the governor’s race.
Feb 24th - 3:45 pm
In spite of a significant month of fundraising, Sen. Wendy Davis’s team still trails her likely opponent by more than $18 million in cash on hand.
The Davis campaign reports raising $2.85 million between Jan. 24 and Feb. 22, more than $1.2 million of which comes from a joint effort with Battleground Texas known as the Texas Victory Committee. Although the Davis campaign is spinning it as a win — Abbott’s campaign pulled in $2.45 million during the same period — the size of the two candidates’ war chests still shows a stark divide.
Abbott has announced he has $29.98 million in cash to spend on his bid for governor. Compare that to Davis’ total war chest of $11.3 million after expenditures.
Both campaigns are making sure to highlight the source of their money. Abbott’s team points out that 98 percent of the donations came from donors in Texas, while the Davis campaign points out that 85 percent of contributions were in amounts of $50 or less.
Feb 21st - 7:30 pm
After a string of negative reports about the state’s child protective services, lawmakers are evaluating changes meant to improve the overall system. Those changes include an increase in the number of case workers and more money for training, but those closest to the field say it’s not all about extra head-count.
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to the people working closest to ground-level about what needs to be done.
Senator Dan Patrick took flack this week for the long-ago hiring of an illegal immigrant. We sat down with Mike Ward of the Austin American-Statesman, Reuters reporter Karen Brooks Harper and Terrence Stutz of The Dallas Morning News to explore whether the story will stick.
Outspoken rocker Ted Nugent issued a rare apology Friday, after drawing increasing criticism for his description of the president as a “subhuman mongrel.” Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas joined us to verify a claim made about the origin of Nugent’s phrase.
Feb 20th - 5:51 pm
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is responding to a recent Dallas Morning News article drawing negative attention to his opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, for allowing undocumented immigrants to work under him 30 years ago.
“I’m shocked and disappointed at the hypocrisy of Dan Patrick. It’s just one more example of preaching one thing and doing something else,” Dewhurst said.
Dewhurst addressed the controversy while speaking to reporters at an early voting event in Austin Thursday. Sen. Patrick has said he wasn’t aware that four men working in his Houston-area sports bars in the 1980s were in the country illegally, and that the workers falsified their employment forms.
The information came to light after a private investigator hired by one of Patrick’s opponents, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, contacted one of the workers.
Sen. Patrick has made border security and illegal immigration key issues in his campaign, and the revelation sparked criticism from all three of Sen. Patrick’s opponents in the lieutenant governor’s race.
Feb 19th - 3:07 pm
Sen. Dan Patrick is releasing a new statewide ad touting his stance on border security, on the same day a Dallas Morning News article is raising questions over undocumented workers once employed at one of his sports bars.
A private investigator hired by Patrick’s opponent Jerry Patterson located 48-year-old Miguel Andrade. Andrade told the paper that he and three other undocumented workers from Mexico worked one of Patrick’s Houston-area sports bars in the 1980s. He told the paper that while Patrick did not hire him personally, he was aware he was living in the country illegally and that “Patrick wrote him a letter of recommendation to help him establish temporary residency after a 1986 federal law offered amnesty for undocumented immigrants.”
Patrick, who is one of four Republicans vying for lieutenant governor, has been outspoken about the need to end illegal immigration across the Mexico border. Other parts of his platform include doing away with sanctuary cities, ending in-state tuition for undocumented students and prohibiting employers from knowingly employing undocumented workers.
He denies knowledge of Andrade’s status and is accusing his opponents of playing dirty politics. “They found a former employee of ours, out of hundreds, who says a manager, not me, hired him around 1984 as a dishwasher,” he said in a Facebook post. “The worker admits when required to fill out W4 employment forms he supplied false documents & social security number.” Patrick says the worker is also lying about other allegations, including that he offered to help Andrade visit Mexico.
You can watch Patrick’s new ad, below.
Feb 17th - 5:54 pm
Lt. Gov. candidate Todd Staples is taking the opportunity to distinguish himself from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his newest television ad. The :30 spot started airing in select television markets today.
“David Dewhurst thanked the Obama administration for federal staples money,” the ad says. “Todd Staples sued Obama’s EPA to protect Texas jobs.”
You can watch the full ad, below.
Feb 14th - 7:30 pm
Early voting for the march primary starts soon, but many of the advertisements airing on TV now were paid for months ago.
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to political experts about the strategy behind getting your attention.
From the Washington Post to the New York Times, Sen. Wendy Davis dominated headlines this week. Can she change the popular narrative on guns, abortion law and her life story? Robert Garrett of The Dallas Morning News, Emily Ramshaw of the Texas Tribune and Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report joined us to explore that question and more.
CHECKING THE FACTS
Plus, Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman researched a pair of statements by two candidates for lieutenant governor — all over the 17th Amendment.
Feb 13th - 1:58 pm
Sen. Dan Patrick released a new statewide television Thursday. Patrick, who is running for lieutenant governor, is touting his Christian conservative leadership in the Texas Senate.
Patrick points to several laws he sponsored during his time in the legislature, including the controversial sonogram bill in 2011 and legislation to include more faith-based language. “My faith means everything to me. That’s why I placed ‘In God we Trust’ in the Senate and ‘Under God’ in our state pledge.”
Patrick faces Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in the March Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the general election.
Feb 3rd - 12:07 pm
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst launched a new statewide television ad Monday. The 30-second spot criticizes President Obama’s health care legislation, comparing its bumpy launch to a high school food fight. “It’s chaos,” the ad says. “Everybody loses.”
The ad points to problems that plagued healthcare.gov and the so-called bureaucracy surrounding its implementation. “That’s why I successfully led the charge to keep Texas out of the Obamacare exchanges and stopped Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion,” said Dewhurst.
You can watch the full ad, below.
Dewhurst is facing a tough four-way GOP primary race. He will face off against Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in the March 4 election.